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Fashfest brings glam to Canberra as fashion designs take centre stage

Models walk the catwalk.

Fashion designers, makeup artists, hairstylists and a long catwalk are all synonymous with Paris and Milan, but this weekend the heart of Canberra has become a fashion epicentre.

Annual fashion show Fashfest's fourth year boasts more than 150 local models — double the number seen in previous years, showcasing the work of designers from the Canberra region.

It takes 12 months to prepare for the three-night annual event, which attracts thousands of Canberra locals and tourists.

"This is about Canberra and showcasing Canberra talent, but the attitude behind it is 'Guess what? We're side-by-side with New York'," Fashfest co-founder Clint Hutchinson said.

"It's not an arrogant thing, but Canberra and Canberrans have that talent."Fashion designers, makeup artists, hairstylists and a long catwalk are all synonymous with Paris and Milan, but this weekend the heart of Canberra has become a fashion epicentre.

About 80 makeup artists bronze, shine and contour the models, each working with a particular designer.

"This is one of the only events that makeup artists can truly show not just a beauty makeup," Fashfest makeup director Diana Cheetum said.

"As a makeup artist in smaller communities, or even bigger cities, our bread and butter is weddings and special events.

"So when it comes to an event like this where we can really show our creative side, everyone just starts to shine."

There are 60 hair stylists to finish off the 450 different looks for the six shows, with each style taking up to an hour to complete.

 

Approximately 200 cans of product are required.

Director of hair Darren Jones said he believed Canberra's quality of style often got overlooked.

"A friend of mine who came to see Fashfest last year, who's not in the industry at all, said to me that she was half way through the show and thought to herself 'I could be sitting anywhere in the world. I could be in Prague, I could be in New York'," he said.

"She was blown away by the whole event. I think it's massively underrated."